Jupiter Research, a division of Jupitermedia Corp., issued its outlook for the holiday shopping season online, projecting a 19 percent increase from last year's record sales to $21.6 billion.
It said 86 million Americans will make holiday purchases during November and December, compared to 73 million last year.
"They will use the Internet for inspiration as well as to find good prices," said Patti Freeman Evans, a Jupiter analyst. She said e-mail messages from retailers could be useful in generating sales.
Sending alerts to customers who left items in their shopping cards or wish lists, or when there are price changes or inventories get low, could be effective sales drivers, she added.
A projection by analysts at Forrester Research last week projected a 28 percent year-to-year gain in retail spending.
Upscale goods sell
An experiment by Vogue magazine has shown Internet shopping is broader than bargain-hunting, and that well-heeled buyers know how to buy online, too.
A Web site supporting advertisers in Vogue's September issue allowed people to buy items featured on the book's pages, and they did so to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars, the magazine said.
Tom Flores, the publisher, told the Wall Street Journal that 24 people bought a $1,570 leopard-print Dior bag, 22 readers opted for a $3,135 Chloe silk chiffon gown and 26 bought a nearly $4,000 18-karat gold Tiffany bangle.
Vogue is getting more competition to sell upscale goods online. Salvatore Ferragamo is set to offer its pricey handbags, clothing and shoes on a Web site this month, while Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman are already selling exclusive and expensive items, the Journal added.
Movies from AOL
Subscribers to America Online's broadband service are now able to download movies free from the video-on-demand service Movielink. The companies announced recently that they extended an existing agreement, which give AOL members access to movie downloads for 99 cents each.
In the near future, 10 "classic titles" will be made available at no cost, including "Steel Magnolias" and "Charade." In subsequent months, five films will be offered.
AOL said its deal, allowing 99-cent rentals, boosted the movie service's downloads by 15 percent. "We've steadily seen increased usage among the AOL for Broadband community" since partnering with Movielink, said Steve Yee, vice president and general manager of AOL Movies and Moviefone.
Movielink is a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Studios.
'Fahrenheit 9/1 1' online
"Fahrenheit 9/1 1" has come to the Net.
Russell Beattie, a San Francisco technical consultant and programmer, is offering a download of Michael Moore's film from RussellBeattie.com.
"I think this is a very important movie to see," he wrote.
Another blogger, Marc Rantz, is also offering the film at his Web site, marc.perkel.com.
Both the downloadable files are less than DVD-quality. A better quality copy of the movie was expected to be available from CinemaNow.com. The pay-per-view file will cost $9.95 and will be available until December.
LinkedIn.com, a service which helps people find work, fill jobs and boost sales has raised $10 million through a venture capital investment by Greylock Partners of San Mateo, Calif.
LinkedIn is one of at least seven such firms exploiting what's called social networking, connecting people with similar interests and needs. While many of the companies have found venture capital, profits are not in sight, according to a report by the Associated Press.
"The hard part is going to be turning them into real businesses," Charlene Li, an analyst with Forrester Research, said. LinkedIn's management told the AP it expects to be in the black in 2006 through a mixture of advertising and subscription revenues from its 1.2 million members.
FlyNet on flights
Lufthansa is expanding its in-flight Internet access service.
The FlyNet onboard service has been added to the airline's route between Munich, Germany, and Charlotte, N.C. It uses Connexion by Boeing technology to provide Web access on flights at a cost of $9.95 for 30 minutes or $29.95 for the flight.
Lufthansa also offers FlyNet on its Los Angeles-Munich route.
Lower the price
Online music stores would sell more downloads if the prices were lower, according to Insight-Express, a market research firm.
Only 12 percent of adult consumers have purchased music from an online store, the first reported after a survey.
"The most common reasons cited for not buying music online include a preference for traditional music store shopping, not owning a digital player and the lack of appeal of downloading."
Signing up voters
Yahoo Inc. said it has helped drive more than 1 million Americans to download voter-registration forms in collaboration with Declare Yourself, a voter campaign founded by Norman Lear.
"We set out to reverse declining voter-registration levels among young people and we're very pleased," said Terry Semel, chairman and chief executive officer of Yahoo, in a statement.
Online magazine fees
The annual meeting of the Magazine Publishers of America is tussling with what seems a perennial topic: how to make money on the Internet.
"We come here every year and say the same thing" about increasing revenues by charging online fees, said Stephen Shepard, editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.
MarketWatch's Jon Friedman, covering the meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., found a trend swinging in favor of charging readers online fees.
New domain names
The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced its preliminary approval to new domain names, ".post" and ".travel."
The body said sponsors provided substantial information to allow for commercial and technical negotiations.
ICANN said applications for eight other domains, including "xxx" and "jobs" are pending and will be considered as information from their backers is made available.
-- CBS MarketWatch